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AFL-CIO Now

What's Mitt Romney's Plan for Unions and Workers?

The Transport Workers (TWU) union is reminding all working people why they should get out and vote Nov. 6. What are Mitt Romney's plans for collective bargaining, project labor agreements and "right to work" for less laws? Watch TWU's new video,"Mitt's Plan for the American Worker," to find out. 

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Retired Ironworker and Ground Zero Volunteer Honored as Conservation Hero

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka with John Sferazo.

Retired Ironworkers Local 361 member John Sferazo, a longtime member of Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA), was honored for his contributions to conservation at the Field & Stream Heroes of Conservation gala on Oct. 4 in Washington, D.C.

After suffering physical and emotional trauma as a Ground Zero volunteer on Sept. 11, Sferazo has worked to provide free hunting opportunities for first responders and veterans with disabilities. With the support of 30 organizations, his nonprofit group American Greenlands Restoration Inc. has turned a former 1,000-acre asphalt plant site in Maine back into a thriving forest habitat. “Being outside gave me an outlet, and I wanted to give others the same,” he said. “It’s the right fight, at the right time, for the right reason.”

Sferazo was nominated by the USA. Currently in its seventh year, the program honors individuals involved in grassroots projects to preserve the land, water and wildlife vital to sportsmen’s pursuits.

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Nicaragua the Third Nation to Adopt Domestic Work Standard

Nicaragua the Third Nation to Adopt Domestic Work Standard

This is a cross-post from the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center, by Tula Connell.

Nicaragua this week became the third country to ratify the International Labor Organization (ILO) convention on domestic workers. An ILO “convention” sets international labor standards, and the “Decent Work for Domestic Workers” convention addresses issues such as working conditions, wages, benefits and child labor while requiring nations to take measures making decent work a reality for domestic workers.

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Show-Me Power: The Coalition that Terrifies Payday Lenders and Their Corporate Allies in Missouri

New coalition terrifies payday lenders in Missouri.

This is a guest post by Mike Louis of the Missouri AFL-CIO and Sean Soendker Nicholson of Progress Missouri

Ever wondered what keeps payday lenders and the CEOs who pay poverty wages up at night? It’s not the 1,950% interest rates they’re allowed to charge Missourians on payday loans, or how the employees who make them rich are able to survive on $290 a week.  

Here in Missouri, we know what terrifies the payday lending companies and corporations who want to keep paying poverty wages: It’s the convergence of faith, community, student and labor organizations who collected 350,000 signatures in the past 18 months to cap the rate on predatory loans and give minimum wage-earning workers a raise. 

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New Poll Shows Working Families Trust Obama on Economy, Social Issues

Wisconsin union volunteers talk to working family voters about the issues. Wisconsin AFL-CIO photo.

The latest polls show a close race between President Obama and Mitt Romney. But working family voters—union and nonunion—who have been contacted by the labor movement’s voter outreach program, overwhelmingly believe that President Obama is far more in tune with their needs and is vastly more trusted to handle the economy and social issues, such as Social Security and Medicare, according to a new poll. Said AFL-CIO Political Director Mike Podhorzer:

The simple fact is that they believe President Obama is on their side and Mitt Romney isn’t. They believe President Obama favors a policy that is going to rebuild the middle class and Mitt Romney is favoring the same old policies that got us into the horrible economic calamity.

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Union-Made Halloween Candy Shopping List

Buy union-made Halloween candy.

If you want your Halloween to be all treats and no tricks, make sure all your candy is union-made, made in America. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor's resource site, Labor 411, has an extensive list of union-made candies. Here are some highlights, featuring sweets made by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW):

1. Baby Ruth

2. Butterfinger

3. Caramello 

4. Hershey's Candy Corn Kisses

5. Hershey Extra Dark Chocolate bar

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L.A. Latino Leaders, Workers and Community Urge Voters: 'Voten NO en la Proposición 32'

Dolores Huerta

This is a cross-post from the California Labor Federation's blog, Labor's Edge, by Danielle Tipton. 

Latinos are among the fastest growing groups of the electorate. About 5 million more Latino voters are eligible to vote this year than in 2008—but historically, voter turnout among Latinos hasn’t been particularly strong. In 2008, only 50% of eligible Latino voters showed up to the polls (according to the Los Angeles Times). But that’s all going to change this year in California, as more and more Latinos are discovering what’s really at stake in the upcoming election if Prop. 32 becomes law.

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Volunteer to Be Poll Monitor on Election Day

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker at a My Vote, My Right event in Philadelphia.

Poll monitors work outside polling locations on Election Day to greet voters, answer questions and report problems. This year, more poll monitors than ever are needed. Restrictive photo ID laws have challenged the right to vote, the cornerstone of democracy. Despite victories in Pennsylvania, where the photo ID law will not be in effect, and the restoration of early voting in Ohio, the battle is not over.

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AFT Election Bus Tour Set for Ohio, Fla.

AFT Election Bus Tour Set for Ohio, Fla.

AFT leaders and teachers are hopping on the bus today for a swing through Ohio and Florida as part of a huge member mobilization and get-out-the-vote effort for President Obama, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and other pro-worker candidates. "Your Vote-Your Right-Their Futures” starts in Cincinnati on Friday, Oct. 19, and on Saturday, hits Toledo and Cleveland. 

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Mitt Romney Encouraged Companies to Tell Their Workers How to Vote

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

In a recent conference call with Mitt Romney and the anti-union National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Romney urged the employers to tell their employees who to vote for. In These Times featured a video of Romney's call in the article, "In Conference Call, Romney Urged Businesses to Tell Their Employees How to Vote."

Here's what Romney said:

I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope, I hope you pass those along to your employees.

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